Information systems targeted at behavior change support users in achieving goals set by themselves. This happens through the persuasive software features embedded in the application. Even if understanding of human behavior and user behavior is used as a central part of software design, these applications do not manipulate or deceive their users. Solutions offered have been carefully planned and designed, they are tailored and often even personalized.
Persuasive Systems Design model, or PSD for short, is a design method developed at the University of Oulu. It provides a systematic way to carry out application development from the outset being based on and emphasizing persuasive design. Digital health interventions developed using the method provide users with purposeful software features at critical points to promote the change. All of this is done in a thorough and ethically sustainable way.
The information provided by the Onnikka application is based on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). According to the CBT, it´s possible to influence an individual´s own behavior and life through the own active behavior and choices. The guidance focuses on the present and the future, as well as taking into account the situational nature and the context of the behavior. Permanent lifestyle changes are encouraged without unnecessary blame because many factors can affect weight management. The Onnikka application guides the user to identify and change the personal thoughts, feelings and habits related to eating and weight in different everyday situations. By practicing new ways of thinking and behaving, as well as methods, the user can gradually learn to make permanent lifestyle changes without the support provided by the application.